The race against time has started for these scientist since the Northern White Rhinoceros cannot breed naturally due to age or disease.
If Hayashi and his team of scientist from the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research in Berlin successfully produce eggs, then the next step would be to fertilize them with frozen semen in vitro, and then impregnate a closely related animal, possibly a southern white rhinoceros, he said.
With not much relevant data available, the team will have to start with basic research, according to Hayashi. "The implementation will take a long time," he said.
Hayahsi, who had produced eggs out of the Induced pluripotent stem cell (iPS) of a mouse from which mice have been born, said he has provided the team in Germany with technical guidance.
Northern white rhinoceroses were originally distributed across central Africa with a population of about 2,300 in the 1960s. But their numbers decreased dramatically due to hunting as their horns were used in Chinese medicine.
Civil wars in the region have also affected their decline. No wild northern white rhinoceros has been confirmed since 2006.
In human medicine, research is under way to apply iPS cells in regenerative medicine and drug development as the cells can grow into various human body tissues.